A spike in blood pressure

System crash wrecks blood drive

A spike in blood pressure
Volunteers help move downers through the donation process efficiently.
Emilia Fuentes
Volunteers help move donors through the donation process efficiently.

The National Honor Society (NHS) ran its second blood drive of the year on Tuesday, Nov. 15. With 95 donors, volunteers must move donors through efficiently so that the Red Cross can see all of them, but an unexpected system crash prevented donations.

The Red Cross uses the high school’s network to register the donors, but their system update prevented a secure connection from being established.

The NHS co-sponsor Katrina Walker coordinates the blood drives with the Red Cross, but was surprised by this anomaly.

“I’m really hoping that those kind of issues are resolved,” Walker said.  “They were very apologetic and they took responsibility for what happened and they promised that that would not happen again.”

Walker attributes the delay to the failure of both Red Cross routers.

“They need one from Douglasville and it took the carrier 2 and a half hours to get here,” Walker said.

Senior Jordan Baxter has given blood twice out of four attempts and was eager to donate, but as he was getting his iron tested the network timed out.

“I am very upset that I was unable to give blood today,” Baxter said. “I was really excited to donate this time after I got deferred last time, but the WiFi stopped working.”

Baxter has O negative blood, the universal donor type, which makes donating especially significant to him.

After the network crashed, many donors were unable to give blood and had to return to class because of the delay.
Emilia Fuentes
After the network crashed, many donors were unable to give blood and had to return to class because of the delay.

“It is very important to me that a life can automatically be saved because of my blood,” Baxter said. “I know my blood is going to save up to three lives.”

The network shortage ultimately resulted in a large loss of donations.

“It’s frustrating that the network prevented Decatur High School from donating about 75 pints of blood,” Baxter said. “That’s 225 lives that could have been saved.”

Although the network failure was a disappointment for donors, the blood drive continues to be a popular service event.

“In the past it has been like 6o donors but we’ve worked hard to publicize the event and people have responded positively,” Walker said. “Hopefully, it will continue to get bigger.”